The 4 Books I dnf’d this Year (so far)

Since I posted the 5 Books I Loved This Year I decided to post the ones I disliked enough to abandon. Thankfully there were only 4.

the 4 books I dnf'd this year Elaine Howlin Literary blog

Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Hot and Badgered (Honey Badger Chronicles, #1) I got an ARC of this from NetGalley to review. I can’t remember how far I got into the book but it was far enough. I thought the story was a mess and didn’t connect with the main characters who were meant to be having the romance. Not something you want in a paranormal romance book. There were too many character introductions and way too much going on. I also was not into the honey badger shifter thing. I think there were weasels in it too…

It’s been highly rated by a lot of my friends on Goodreads so maybe I will come back to it at some point… It probably sorts itself out after the first few chapters.

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien

The Third Policeman is Flann O’Brien’s brilliantly dark comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of the scientist/philosopher de Selby, he is introduced to “Atomic Theory” and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and de Selby’s view that the earth is not round but “sausage-shaped.” With the help of his newly found soul named “Joe,” he grapples with the riddles and
contradictions that three eccentric policeman present to him.
The last of O’Brien’s novels to be published, The Third Policemanjoins O’Brien’s other fiction (At Swim-Two-BirdsThe Poor MouthThe Hard LifeThe Best of MylesThe Dalkey Archive) to ensure his place, along with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as one of Ireland’s great comic geniuses.

The Third Policeman This book confused the hell out of me. I had no clue what was going on. In fairness, I was listening to an audiobook and I kept getting distracted, missing bits and rewinding. In the end, I gave up and returned it to the library. The looming due date on library books usually pushes me to finish a book but this time it was to drop it.

Judging by other Goodreads reviews it seems like a bit of a pretentious book so it’s unlikely I’ll pick it up again.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sanders

In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other—for no one but Saunders could conceive it.

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a thrilling, supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory, where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices—living and dead, historical and invented—to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

Lincoln in the Bardo This was another audiobook that I kept drifting away from. I only picked it up because everyone was talking about it. Seriously couldn’t escape the dang book! I’m not particularly interested in Abraham Lincoln’s life which is probably why I found it hard to pay attention.

It has been highly rated by many Goodreads readers though few people I know have read it. A heck of a lot of people have added it to their TBR though.



Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

Jamaica Inn

This one I will definitely get back to at some point. I think I just wasn’t in the right mindset for this type of book at the time. I’ve loved the other books by du Maurier that I read and want to give this one a proper try.

It’s been highly rated by several of my Goodreads friends.




Hopefully, this list won’t grow too much in the last few months of the year.

Think I should give any of these books another try? What books have you struggled to finish so far this year?

Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads. Photo from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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